Best Place to Buy a Generator: Prices, Warranties and Customer Support

Need to start shopping for a new generator?

Each retailer caters to different needs. The best place to buy a generator depends on the type of unit you want and what you intend to use it for. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a guide on several different reputable vendors. 

Read on to learn more about the product selection, policies, and general support available from these retailers so you can pick the best one for you and shop confidently this year. 

1. Amazon

Amazon is the best outlet for tradespeople, homeowners, and hobbyists seeking various generators.

Amazon is a third-party retailer selling all kinds of generators from different manufacturers. It has an extensive product selection and competitive pricing on many units.

Here’s what you’ll find at a glance:

Generator Selection

Amazon has almost every type of generator imaginable. These run the gamut from propane, gas-powered, and dual-fuel generators to solar generators and power stations. It carries dozens of major brands, including Westinghouse, Honda, and Champion. It also has reputable eco-brands, including Jackery, EcoFlow, and Goal Zero.

Amazon caters to every possible price point, offering smaller budget-friendly options and high-end generators with all the bells and whistles. You’ll find everything from camping gennies to whole-house systems here, so Amazon is a top choice for those wanting substantial wattage and capacity. 

Company Support

Support can get dicey with third-party retailers. It may be better to buy generators sold directly by Amazon instead of on its marketplace because the company must take more accountability for these orders. Either way, buyers must visit the manufacturer for warranties and product troubleshooting.

Amazon does offer free shipping for Prime users, but not every generator is eligible for Prime.

Amazon’s return policy considers fossil-fuel generators to be hazardous material, so you can’t return them. Overall, other retailers have much better support, but Amazon has a better selection and access to potentially lower prices. 

Amazon pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Best selection
  • All-budget shopping
  • Free shipping on many items

Amazon cons:

  • Mediocre customer service
  • No price matching
  • No returns

2. REI 

Best for campers and hikers needing renewable power systems on the road. 

REI is a third-party retailer catering to the outdoor lifestyle with a small but carefully curated selection of eco-friendly products.

Here’s what you’ll find at a glance:

  • Solar generators
  • Power stations
  • Solar panels
  • Power banks
  • Generator accessories

Generator Selection

REI stocks a small selection of premium solar generators and portable power stations from brands like EcoFlow, GoalZero, and BioLite. It offers solar panels and accessories to fit the units but does not provide fossil-fuel gennies or whole-house systems. Instead, you’ll find quiet generators that are portable and campground-friendly. 

Some are small solar chargers you can pack up and take hiking, while others are massive 6,000-watt power stations that must be transported in a vehicle. If you’re shopping for outdoor recreation, this is the place to do it, but you won’t find much outside this niche. 

Company Support

REI is a membership-based co-op with a customer-focused feel. Even if you aren’t a member, the service here is excellent. Buyers will receive free shipping throughout the US on orders over $50 but might have to pay an “oversize package” fee depending on the generator’s size

REI’s return policy allows hassle-free returns before 90 days, and buyers can return items by mail or at store locations nationwide. Since REI does not make these generators, you must visit the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting and warranty information. 

REI pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Good return policy
  • Good customer support
  • Range of power outputs

REI cons:

  • Small generator selection
  • Oversize shipping fees

3. Jackery

Best for shoppers hoping to score deals on portable solar generators and power banks. 

Jackery is an eco-friendly company manufacturing renewable-energy generators. It sells some products through third-party retailers, but buying through the Jackery website might offer more benefits.

Here’s what you’ll find at a glance:

  • Solar generators
  • Portable power stations
  • Solar panels
  • Full range of accessories

Generator Selection

Jackery is a top choice if you’re interested in solar generators or portable power stations. The company has smaller units perfect for van life or camping trips and more-powerful units capable of running some power tools and appliances. 

You’ll find solar and electric units capable of producing between 300 and 3,000 watts of power, so they probably won’t function for a whole-house backup system. However, the units are well reviewed and perfect to use on the road, at the job site, or for a power boost in a blackout. 

Company Support

Jackery has great service policies, including free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee. All products have a two- to three-year warranty, and online purchasers can even extend their warranty free of charge. The website has an extensive user guide library and is an excellent resource for troubleshooting, questions, and general 24/7 support. 

Jackery systems aren’t cheap, but they aren’t ridiculously expensive, and occasional discounts can help bring prices down. 

Jackery pros:

  • Extensive company support
  • Free shipping
  • Free extended warranties
  • Online resources
  • Various discounts
  • Full line of accessories
  • Discounted refurbished products

Jackery cons:

  • No whole-house system
  • No gas or fuel generators

4. EcoFlow

Best for shoppers who want large-scale renewable-energy generators and home backup systems. 

EcoFlow manufactures and distributes top-of-the-line portable power stations and solar generators. They don’t come cheap, but they function well. 

Here’s what you’ll find at a glance:

  • Solar generators
  • Electric power stations
  • Dual-fuel generator
  • Whole-house systems
  • Solar panels
  • Full range of accessories

Generator Selection

EcoFlow has a power system for every need, from smaller camping generators to whole-house backup systems producing over 7,000 watts. It also stocks a full line of accessories, including inverters, extension cords, and remote controls. 

The company also manufactures a dual-fuel generator using propane and gasoline. While it won’t work as an indoor generator like other products here, it could be very beneficial for outdoor use. EcoFlow reports that it could reduce fossil fuel costs by up to 40% if you hook it up to an EcoFlow power kit or other compatible product. 

Company Support

EcoFlow strives to offer top-notch support with after-sale care, a 30-day return policy, and warranties ranging from 12–60 months for US buyers. It offers free shipping, but this policy may vary depending on your location and unit size. 

The website has video libraries dedicated to product support, which teach new users how to operate their generators and provide some troubleshooting. The only real gripe I have is the high cost and narrow compatibility. Many products have multiple capabilities, but you can only use them with other EcoFlow products. 

EcoFlow pros:

  • Energy-saving generators
  • Good customer support
  • Free shipping for many items
  • Smart systems 
  • EcoFlow mobile app
  • Full line of accessories

EcoFlow cons: 

  • Costly systems
  • Some incompatibilities

5. Camping World

Best for campers and RVers who prefer traditional power systems. 

Camping World is a third-party vendor catering to campers and RVers. They have a wide range of products available and often offer fantastic discounts. 

Here’s what you’ll find at a glance:

  • Gas generators
  • Propane generators
  • Dual-fuel generators
  • Tri-fuel generators
  • Solar generators
  • Portable power stations
  • Range of accessories

Generator Selection

Camping World’s generator selection is surprisingly large for such a niche audience. All are portable, but these aren’t just standard camping gennies — some produce up to 12,000 watts of power. The prices here are compatible with a wide range of budgets, with many high-output products on the cheaper side.

Camping World carries name brands like Sportsman, Honda, DuroMax, and many others. Most are inverter or open-frame generators that take gas or propane. The site also has a surprising variety of dual-fuel generators, but the selection of solar generators and power banks isn’t that great. Overall, the main focus seems to be on traditional fossil-fuel systems. 

Company Support

Camping World is very beneficial for RVers. The website weeds out unsuitable products for you and answers many frequently asked questions in its product description pages.

Camping World does offer price matching, and some of the sale offers can net you a lot of savings. Finding a great deal here will take some digging, but it’s worth it when you do. 

The shipping and delivery policies promise free shipping on items over $99 for non-members, but many good deals here require a membership. The membership might be worth it if you buy from Camping World often, but it’s disappointing that not every customer gets the same discounts and promotions. Additionally, you can’t return generators once they are delivered. 

Camping World pros:

  • Lots of discounts available
  • Free shipping over $99
  • RV and camping-specific stock
  • Accepts mail-in checks and money orders

Camping World cons:

  • Few renewable-energy options
  • No returns

6. 4Patriots 

Best for survivalists and off-gridders who want to stay prepared for anything with alternative power.

4Patriots is an online supply store catering to those who live a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It manufactures and sells its own line of solar generators, providing true off-grid power without fossil fuels.

Here’s what you’ll find at a glance:

  • Solar generators
  • Solar panels
  • Power bundles
  • Power banks
  • Generator accessories

Generator Selection

4Patriots’ portable solar generators are perfect for emergency use during a power outage. They range from 300 to 2,000 watts of output and can be charged via solar panels or wall outlets. These units could power bigger appliances like refrigerators and AC units, but the wattage cap makes them unsuitable for whole-house backup.

Prices here are generally less than at other solar-focused manufacturers like Jackery and EcoFlow, so this is a great budget-friendly option. Despite the price differential, all products seem to be solidly built and have great reviews.

Company Support

4Patriots isn’t the place to go if you want big-time variety since they only offer a few generators. But it does have great support, offering superior customer care and nationwide service with a small-business feel.

Shipping is free in the continental US, and 4Patiots has a 100% money-back guarantee (minus shipping) within one year of purchase. If you need help with your generator, you can call the company for free technical advice during office hours. You’ll get to speak with an actual employee instead of outsourced customer service, which brings peace of mind and a sense of community. 

4Patriots pros:

  • Great customer service
  • Good deals and promotions
  • Free shipping
  • Money-back guarantee

4Patriots cons:

  • No whole-house backup
  • Little product variety

Alternative Places to Buy Your Generator

Want something different? Some people may find these alternative vendors better suit their needs:

  • Generator Factory Outlet: Generator Factory Outlet is a Colorado-based retailer offering free shipping over $199 and sizable discounts to US customers. It specializes in portable fossil-fuel generators, but also has some renewable energy and whole-house backup systems.
  • Bluetti: Bluetti is an excellent alternative to EcoFlow. It offers some of the best solar generators around, along with a wide selection of portable power stations and whole-house backups. You can also get accessories like extra panels, expansion packs, cables, and more.
  • Local stores: Big-box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes have various generators for sale, including whole-house, gas, propane, dual-fuel, and renewable energy units. If they don’t have what you’re looking for in stock, you can ask them to order it from their online catalog. Shipping is usually free, and products should arrive at your local store in a few days for you to pick up. 

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